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Mercyhurst College
Official Seal of Mercyhurst College
Motto Latin: Carpe diem
(Seize the Day)
Established 1926
Type Private, Catholic college
Endowment $18.2 million[1]
President Dr. Thomas Gamble
Provost James M. Adovasio
Faculty 136 full-time
Students 3,226
Location Erie, Pennsylvania, USA
Campus Urban - 74 acres
Athletics Mercyhurst Lakers
Sports 2 Division I/22 Division II
Colors Blue, Green, & White
Nickname Lakers
Mascot Louie the Laker
Affiliations NCAA Division II; PSAC

Mercyhurst College is a Catholic liberal arts college in Erie, Pennsylvania, USA.



On September 20, 1926, Mercyhurst College opened its doors just a few blocks away from the city's southern boundary. It was founded by the Sisters of Mercy of the Erie Diocese, who were led by Mother M. Borgia Egan, the first president of Mercyhurst College. The college received its charter on October 5, 1928.

F. Ferdinand Durang was hired to design the Old Main building. It was modeled after the English Gothic design. The iron gates at its main entrance on 38th Street were put up in 1950.

On February 3, 1969, the board of trustees voted to make Mercyhurst a coed college.

From its foundation in 1926 until 1972, members of the Sisters of Mercy had been presidents of the college. After 1972, the college was led by lay presidents.

On March 27, 1991, Mercyhurst purchased the 100-year old Redemptorist Seminary in North East to become a branch campus.

In the past two decades, Mercyhurst has become one of the top comprehensive colleges in the North and the second largest Mercy college in America. Between its two campuses, enrollment has grown to 4,000 students, full-time faculty members number 168, the endowment has increased to more than $20 million and its budget to more than $80 million.

A $40 million program of buildings and campus renovations has changed the look of Mercyhurst during the past 20 years. Old Main remains the center of a campus that includes more than 50 structures. In fall 2002, the $7.5 million Audrey Hirt Academic Center opened on the southeast edge of campus. The building was funded largely through the college’s $22.8 million capital campaign.

In August 2005, the $5 million Michele and Tom Ridge Health and Safety Building was dedicated at Mercyhurst North East. A $1.3 million residential apartment complex opened in time for the academic year.

In April 2005, the board of trustees authorized the purchase of 400 acres (1.6 km2) in Girard as the first step towards developing Mercyhurst West, a two-year college serving west Erie County and northwest Crawford County and northeast Ohio.

The construction of a $14 million freshman residence hall began fall 2008, and will open to house students fall 2009. The 100,000 ft. building will house approximately 300 students and contain a convenience store, conference rooms and a fitness center.

The board of trustees elected Dr. Thomas J. Gamble as 11th president of Mercyhurst College. Dr. Gamble, who previously served as vice president of academic affairs at the college, assumed the presidency March 1, 2006, replacing Dr. Garvey who resigned.

The college is no longer run by the Sisters of Mercy, but they have a Motherhouse south of the college and several sisters work for the college.


Enrollment at Mercyhurst College is nearly 3,500 students. Dr. Thomas Gamble is the current President. The college is one of the few schools in the region on a trimester academic period system.

The College has a campus 18 miles east at North East, Pennsylvania, at the site of the former St. Mary's Seminary, known as Mercyhurst North East.

The College added a third campus known as Mercyhurst West located in Girard, Pennsylvania. The site of this campus on the site of a former church known as Faith Lutheran Church. Classes began here in the Fall of 2006. [2]

Notable faculty include Archaeologist James Adovasio, two American Board of Forensic Anthropology [3] certified Forensic Anthropologists: Dennis Dirkmaat, and Steven Symes, and Physical Anthropologist Steven Ousley, co-creator of FORDISC.

The Schools of Mercyhurst College

  • The School of Arts & Humanities
  • The Walker School of Business & Communication
  • The Hafenmaier School of Education & Behavioral Sciences
  • The Zurn School of Natural Sciences & Mathematics
  • The School of Social Sciences

The school is best known for its programs in archaeology and forensic anthropology, intelligence (MCIIS & CIRAT), forensic science, dance, music, and art therapy.


A Mercyhurst hockey player (center) jostling for the puck with an Air Force Falcons defenceman.

Mercyhurst College competes in two NCAA Division I and 22 NCAA Division II sports. Mercyhurst, is known as the "Lakers". The Lakers are one of the newest members of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference (PSAC). Around 15 percent of the student body are considered student-athletes.

NCAA Division I Sports

NCAA Division II Sports

  • Baseball
  • Men's & Women's Basketball
  • Men's & Women's Cross Country
  • Field Hockey
  • American Football
  • Men's & Women's Golf
  • Men's Lacrosse (East Coast Conference)
  • Women's Lacrosse
  • Men's & Women's Rowing (ECAC)
  • Men's & Women's Soccer
  • Softball
  • Men's & Women's Tennis
  • Women's Volleyball
  • Men's & Women's Water Polo (Collegiate Water Polo Association)
  • Wrestling

National Championships

  • 1976: Men's Tennis - NAIA
  • 2004: Women's Rowing - NCAA Division II
  • 2009: Josh Shields (165 lbs), Wrestling - NCAA Division II

National Runner-up

  • 2007: Men's Lacrosse - NCAA Division II
  • 2009: Women's Ice Hockey - NCAA Division I
  • 2009: Women's Rowing - NCAA Division II
  • 2010: Josh Shields (165 lbs), Wrestling - NCAA Division II

Mercyhurst College Club Sports
American Collegiate Hockey Association (ACHA) - Division I

Notable alumni

  • Grace Gentiluomo 2004-2008- World class bocce player and former european darts champion.


"Mercyhurst's City" was a clue in the January 8th edition of Cooper's Gigantic Crossword

Mercyhurst is mentioned in the Movie "That Thing You Do" as the site for the featured band's first real gig.


  1. ^ As of June 30, 2009. "U.S. and Canadian Institutions Listed by Fiscal Year 2009 Endowment Market Value and Percentage Change in Endowment Market Value from FY 2008 to FY 2009" (PDF). 2009 NACUBO-Commonfund Study of Endowments. National Association of College and University Business Officers. Retrieved February 9, 2010. 
  2. ^
  3. ^ "American Board of Forensic Anthropology". American Board of Forensic Anthropology, Inc.. Retrieved 2007-01-18. 

External links

Coordinates: 42°06′19″N 80°03′13″W / 42.10520°N 80.05373°W / 42.10520; -80.05373



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